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Case studies of contested sovereignty in Europe

The purpose of this workshop is to examine the narratives surrounding several cases of contested sovereignty in Europe through a cross-disciplinary lens. The workshop compares and contrasts two  competing narratives that arise whenever sovereignty is contested: One narrative focuses on adhesion, that is it emphasizes political union and territorial integrity over separatism. The competing narrative of separation seeks a change in status for a disputed territory, which can range from requesting greater autonomy to achieving independence or become part of an alternative sovereign union.

The workshop will focus on three European case studies: Northern Ireland, Catalonia, and Eastern Ukraine. All cases are characterized by complex competing narratives that arise from complicated historical backgrounds.

The workshop will address questions such as: What are the rhetorical frames that are employed by the competing actors in those conflicts? How do those frames differ between cases and how are they similar? What notion of truth or accuracy do actors appeal to in their narratives? And what might be a path forward for resolution of those conflicts? Are there scenarios that can successfully balance demands for adhesion and separation in a nonviolent manner?


Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky
University of Bristol, UK

Fellow AIA NRW


Lisa Hartmann
Public Relations and Events Officer

Rheinallee 24, 53173 Bonn




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